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WarnerMedia eyes preschool originals

Posted By KarolinaKaminska On 14-05-2021 @ 9:47 am In News | Comments Disabled

WarnerMedia Kids in EMEA is looking for original preschool series, family and female-focused content, and live-action shows aimed at tweens, according to department head Vanessa Brookman.


Vanessa Brookman

Speaking to C21, Brookman, who took the helm [2] of WarnerMedia Kids in EMEA late last year, said the division needed to expand the breadth of its offering as it plans for the roll-out of WarnerMedia’s SVoD platform HBO Max in the region.

“Linear networks in the past have been very targeted. [WarnerMedia-owned] Cartoon Network targets 6-11s, Boomerang targets 4-7s, et cetera. But when you’re talking about HBO Max, what we really need is breadth, variety and an expansive range of content so that we can be all things to all kids as much as possible. So we’re looking to expand into genres that we haven’t traditionally focused on,” Brookman said.

A key area on which the company is building is preschool. In countries like the UK, Ireland, Turkey and Italy, and across the Middle East, WarnerMedia has a small preschool offering through its Cartoonito brand, which has a few networks and programming blocks. With Cartoonito soon to launch in the US, WarnerMedia is working to expand the brand’s offering.

“Preschool is a really big example [of a genre on which WarnerMedia hasn’t traditionally focused]. We don’t have a reputation for preschool at the moment so we are looking for originals in the preschool space as we seek to build on our Cartoonito offering in the region,” Brookman said.

On top of that, the company is seeking family and female-focused content, in addition to live-action for tween audiences. “Traditionally, Cartoon Network has probably not been known for its family offering. But as we move into HBO Max, it’s really crucial that we are devising and developing ideas and content that all of the family can sit down and enjoy together,” Brookman said.

“We’re also looking at our girl audience. Traditionally, we’ve been a very boy-focused network, so we absolutely need to attract and entertain 50% of the kids’ population, which is our girl audience. And then we also definitely need to move into the space of live action; we need to appeal to more tweens.

“The needs of a streaming service mean you have to be broader and mean more to more people, and that’s what we’re working on. So there are huge opportunities for producers and the creative community to do more with us that they wouldn’t ordinarily have been able to do six months ago.

“We’re going to continue to work with the European kids community and we’re really open-minded to hear about any projects that target kids and family audiences, from preschool to tween and from comedy to factual.”

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